KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 2009–2016 | Cite as

Field Load Testing Study of Vertical Bearing Behavior of a Large Diameter Belled Cast-in-Place Pile

  • Guangyun Gao
  • Meng GaoEmail author
  • Qingsheng Chen
  • Jun Yang
Geotechnical Engineering


To investigate the vertical bearing behavior of manually excavated large diameter belled concrete piles (LDBCPs), field loading tests were performed on a total of 16 LDBCPs, ranging from 0.8 to 3.5 m in base diameter from 6.1 to 18.0 m in embedment length. The end bearing stratum is sand and gravel. The influence of pile dimensions (i.e., size of enlarged base D, embedment length L, and length-to-diameter ratio L/D) on the vertical bearing behavior of a belled pile is presented and discussed. Comparison is also made of the vertical bearing behavior of a belled pile and of a conventional straight pile under otherwise similar conditions. The results indicate that: 1) The vertical bearing capacity of a belled pile is significantly greater than that of a conventional straight pile provided the debris at the bottom of a belled pile is properly removed; 2) over 65% of the vertical bearing capacity for a belled pile is attributed to the tip resistance (Qe); 3) compared to the contribution of pile length L, increasing enlarged base D is a more effective way to increase the vertical ultimate bearing capacity of a belled pile (Qu); 4) the optimum length-to-enlarged base ratio (L/D) for belled piles to achieve maximum vertical bearing capacity is around 3.2.


large diameter belled pile a conventional straight pile field load test vertical ultimate bearing capacity tip resistance length-to-enlarged base ratio manually drilled hole 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, J. I. and Hayes, D. C. (1967). “The uplift capacity of shallow foundations.” Ontario Hydro Research Quarterly, Ontario Hydro, Research Division, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 1–13.Google Scholar
  2. Alielahi, H., Mardani, Z., and Daneshvar, S. (2014). “Influence of under–reamed pile groups arrangement on tensile bearing capacity using FE method.” Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 19, No. Bundle F, pp. 1–8.Google Scholar
  3. Andreadis, A., Harvey, R. C., and Burley, E. (1981). “Embedded anchor response to uplift loading.” Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Div., ASCE, vol. 101, no. 1, pp. 59–78. DOI: 10.2514/3.56113.Google Scholar
  4. Balla, A. (1961). “The resistance to breaking out of mushroom foundations for pylons.” Proc. 5th Int. Conf. on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Paris, France, vol. 1, no. 12, pp. 569–576.Google Scholar
  5. Bera, A. K. and Banerjee, U. (2013). “Uplift capacity of model bell shaped embedded in sand.” International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 84–90. DOI: 10.1179/1938636212Z. 0000000006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chattopadhyay, B. C. and Pise, P. J. (1986). “Uplift capacity of pile in sand.” Journal of Geotechnical Engineering Div., ASCE, vol. 112, no. 9, pp. 888–904.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dickin, E. A. and Leung, C. F. (1990). “Performance of piles with enlarged bases subjected to uplift forces.” Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 546–556. DOI: 10.1139/t90–070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dickin, E. A. and Leung, C. F. (1992). “The influence of foundation geometry on the uplift behavior of piles with enlarged bases.” Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 498–505. DOI: 10.1139/t92–05.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ghaly. A., Hanna, A., and Hanna, M. (1991). “Uplift behavior of screw anchors in sand. I: Dry sand.” Journal of Geotechnical Engineering Div., ASCE, vol. 117, no. 5, pp. 773–793. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE) 0733–9410(1991)117:5(773).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ghosh, A. and Bera, A. K. (2010). “Effect of geotextile ties on uplift capacity of anchors embedded in sand.” Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 567–577. DOI: 10.1007/s10706–010–9313–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Giffels, W. C., Graham, R. E., and Mook, J. K. (1960). “Concrete cylinder anchors proved for 345–KV tower line.” Electrical World, vol. 154, pp. 46–49.Google Scholar
  12. Herrmann, R. A., Lowen, M., Tinteler, T., and Krumm, S. (2013). “Research on the load–bearing behaviour of bored piles with different enlarged bases.” Proc. 18th Int. Conf. on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Paris, France, pp. 2755–2758.Google Scholar
  13. Honda, T., Hirai, Y., and Sato, E. (2011). “Uplift capacity of belled and multi–belled piles in dense sand.” Soils and Foundations, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 483–496. DOI: 10.3208/sandf.51.483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ilamparuthi, K. and Dickin, E. A. (2001a). “The influence of soil reinforcement on the uplift behaviour of belled piles embedded in sand.” Geotextiles and Geomembranes, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 1–22. DOI: 10.1016/S0266–1144(00)00010–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ilamparuthi, K. and Dickin, E. A. (2001b). “Predictions of the uplift response of model belled piles in geogrid–cell–reinforced sand.” Geotextiles and Geomembranes, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 89–109. DOI: 10.1016/S0266–1144(00)00011–X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ilamparuthi, K., Dickin, E. A., and Muthukrisnaiah, K. (2002). “Experimental investigation of the uplift behaviour of circular plate anchors embedded in sand.” Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 648–664. DOI: 10.1139/t02–005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ireland, H. O. (1963). “Discussion on uplift resistance of transmission tower footing by E.A. Turner.” Journal of the Power Div., ASCE, vol. 89, no. 1, pp. 115–118.Google Scholar
  18. Javadi, S. and Moghaddas Tafreshi, S. N. (2012). “Laboratory investigation of the uplift behavior of belled piles in reinforced sand.” Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. on New Developments in Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Nicosia, North Cyprus, pp. 185–191.Google Scholar
  19. Lee, C. Y. (2007). “Settlement and load distribution analysis of underreamed piles.” ARPN Journal of Engineering Applied Sciences, ARPN, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 36–40.Google Scholar
  20. Mazurkiewicz, B. K. (1972). Test loading of piles according to polish regulations, royal society and academy of engineering sciences. communication on pile research, Report 35, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.Google Scholar
  21. Meyerhof, G. G. and Adams, J. I. (1968). “The ultimate uplift capacity of foundations.” Canadian Geotechnical Journal, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 225–244. DOI: 10.1139/t68–024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Moghaddas Tafreshi, S. N., Javadi, S., and Dawson, A. R. (2014). “Influence of geocell reinforcement on uplift response of belled piles.” Acta Geotechnica, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 513–528. DOI: 10.1007/s11440–013–0300–1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Niroumand, H., Kassim, K. A., Ghafooripour, A., and Nazir, R. (2012). “Uplift capacity of enlarged base piles in sand.” Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 17 (Bund. R), pp. 2721–2737.Google Scholar
  24. Saran, S., Ranjan, G., and Nene, A. S. (1986). “Soil anchors and constitutive laws.” Journal of Geotechnical Engineering Div., ASCE, vol. 112, no. 12, pp. 1084–1100. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733–9410(1986)112: 12(1084).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sego, D. C., Biggar, K. W., and Wong, G. (2003). “Enlarged base (belled) piles for use in ice or ice–rich permafrost.” Journal of Cold Regions Engineering Div., ASCE, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 68–88. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)0887–381X(2003)17:2(68).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Vesic, A. S. (1971). “Breakout resistance of objects embedded in ocean bottom.” Journal of Soil Mechanics and Foundations Div., ASCE, vol. 97, no. 9, pp. 1183–1205.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society of Civil Engineers 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guangyun Gao
    • 1
  • Meng Gao
    • 2
    Email author
  • Qingsheng Chen
    • 3
  • Jun Yang
    • 4
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Geotechnical and Underground Engineering of Ministry of EducationTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shandong Key Laboratory of Civil Engineering Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (college of Civil Engineering and Architecture)Shandong University of Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.Dept. of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.Dept. of Civil EngineeringUniversity of Hong KongPokfulam, Hong KongChina

Personalised recommendations